Parents to teach kids how to drive
TERRETON, Idaho (KIFI) – Idaho House Bill 133 is proposing to allow parents or guardians the ability to provide driver training for their children rather than taking a Driver's Education course.
It was first introduced on Feb. 13 and has been passed in the House by Feb. 17.
The bill was primarily proposed to help families in rural areas save money on travel expenses if they live far away from driver's training. It would allow parents and guardians to act as their children's driving instructors.
Dean Erickson, a Driver's Education Instructor and Program Coordinator at the West Jefferson School District, thinks it could be a great thing, but some important factors are being overlooked when it comes to passing the bill.
The first thing that could pose some issues would be lack of safety measures. The Student Driver Vehicles have an extra mirror for the instructor to double check surroundings, an extra brake for instructors to use in case of emergencies and clear representation on the exterior of the vehicle letting other drivers know the driver is learning. Without these, Erickson says it could put parents and students in danger.
Another potential problem Erickson sees is that there are no parameters set for which families could take part in parents teaching their students. He says the bill mentions that it is primarily for the rural families, but doesn't give limits to who can and can't take part in home-based teaching. He says, "If it's really about rural, then why isn't there a mile parameter? We've been told it'll open it up for a Downtown Boise parent to teach their kid Driver's Ed."
Erickson believes many parents have the capability to teach their own children and could do a great job, but without proper accountability and safety measures, this could put citizens and the next generation of drivers at risk.
To help out rural families right now, Idaho does have an online Driver's Education program they can opt into.
Erickson encourages Idaho residents to reach out to their Senators with their thoughts on the bill. To find how to contact your Senator, click HERE.